×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Pawel Pawlikowski’s ‘Cold War’ Makes History for Poland

Alfonso Cuaron might’ve tied an Oscar record with four nods to his name for “Roma,” which scored 10 nominations overall. But another black-and-white film in a foreign language, Pawel Pawlikowski’s jazz-infused romantic drama “Cold War,” was honored with three Academy Award nominations Tuesday, the most in history for a primarily Polish-backed production.

The film will compete in the best foreign-language film and cinematography categories, while Pawlikowski earned a somewhat unexpected nomination for best director. (He won in that category at the Cannes Film Festival last year, where “Cold War” premiered.)

In a remarkable coincidence – beyond being foreign-language pics shot in black and white – both “Cold War” and “Roma” are drawn from the lives of the directors’ own families. “Cold War” is loosely based on the story of Pawlikowski’s late parents, musicians who met in post-war Poland and embarked on a tempestuous marriage.

“They’d be over the moon” with the film’s Oscar nominations, Pawlikowski told Variety in an e-mail, adding: “There’s always a note of sadness in moments like this. They died thinking I was a good-for-nothing anarchist.”

The auteur said he was surprised by his three Academy Award nods and attributed the film’s success to the depiction of both the love story at the film’s center and the geopolitical context in which it unfolded.

“It seemed that it was the combination of the story, the history, the image, the music and how it all worked together,” Pawlikowski said.

In its review, Variety called “Cold War” a “soberly moving study of the disappointment and insecurity that can blossom from supposed renewal: It’s a romance in which new beginnings and endings can be hard to tell apart.”

In a prepared statement, Pawlikowski thanked his producers, Tanya Seghatchian and Ewa Puszczyńska; the film’s “luminous star,” actress Joanna Kulig; and Amazon Studios, which has the film in the U.S. He also congratulated his cinematographer, Lukasz Zal, on his Oscar nomination.

Pawlikowski already owns one golden statuette: the 2015 Oscar for best foreign-language film, for “Ida,” about a war orphan who prepares to enter holy orders. The director acknowledged in his e-mail to Variety that, “by my standards,” he engaged in some Oscar campaigning in L.A. this time around.

But, he added, it was “not nearly as much as some.”

More Film

  • Avengers: Endgame

    'Avengers: Endgame' Reviews: What the Critics Are Saying

    It’s been a long year for Marvel fans since the release of “Avengers: Infinity War,” but the wait is nearly over. The finale to the Infinity Saga is here, and while most diehard fans will know to avoid them for fear of spoilers, early reviews are mostly positive. Last year’s “Infinity War” took home an [...]

  • American Made

    'American Made' Plane Crash Lawsuits End in Settlement

    The producers of the Tom Cruise film “American Made” have settled all litigation surrounding a 2015 plane crash in Colombia that killed two pilots. The settlement resolves pending suits in both California and Georgia. A notice of settlement was filed in Santa Monica Superior Court on Monday. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. The [...]

  • Avengers: Endgame

    Film Review: 'Avengers: Endgame'

    SPOILER ALERT: The following review contains mild spoilers for “Avengers: Endgame.” The culmination of 10 years and more than twice as many movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Avengers: Endgame” promises closure where its predecessor, “Avengers: Infinity War,” sowed chaos. That film — which revealed that the cookie-cutter uniformity of all those MCU movies had [...]

  • Avengers: Endgame

    'Avengers: Endgame': Why a $300 Million Opening Could Be Impossible

    “Avengers: Endgame” is preparing for a staggering debut between $250 million and $268 million in North America alone. Unprecedented anticipation surrounding the Marvel juggernaut has some particularly optimistic box office watchers tossing around even higher numbers, estimating the superhero tentpole could clear nearly $300 million in ticket sales in its first three days. If any film [...]

  • Leonardo Dicaprio Nightmare Alley

    Leonardo DiCaprio in Talks to Star in Guillermo del Toro's 'Nightmare Alley' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Leonardo DiCaprio is in negotiations to star in Fox Searchlight’s “Nightmare Alley,” Guillermo del Toro’s follow-up to his Oscar-winning film “The Shape of Water.” Del Toro will direct the pic and co-wrote the script with Kim Morgan. “Nightmare Alley” is being produced and financed by del Toro and J. Miles Dale with TSG Entertainment, with [...]

  • Ben Affleck

    Ben Affleck to Star in and Direct World War II Caper 'Ghost Army'

    Ben Affleck will star in and direct the Universal Pictures caper “Ghost Army,” based on the book “The Ghost Army of World War II,” written by Rick Beyer and Elizabeth Sayles, as well as the documentary “Ghost Army.” It’s unclear when the movie will go into production as it’s still in development and Affleck is [...]

  • 'Yesterday,' 'Maiden,' 'The Farewell' Set for

    'Yesterday,' 'Maiden,' 'The Farewell' Set for Nantucket Film Festival

    The Nantucket Film Festival has set Danny Boyle’s Beatles-themed fantasy “Yesterday” as the opening night selection for its 24th edition. Universal Pictures’ “Yesterday,” which stars Himesh Patel as a struggling singer-songwriter who wakes up one day to realize he’s the only person who remembers that the Beatles ever existed, will open the fest, which runs [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content